Faster, Hassle-Free POEA Transactions in Nueva Ecija
Residents of Nueva Ecija planning to go abroad need not go to Metro Manila to process documents particularly transactions dealing with Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
The Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH), which started its operation this year has opened its One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) to cater to the needs of residents of Nueva Ecija and adjoining provinces requiring documents from the POEA and other government agencies relating to overseas work.
The One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) is the first one-stop government services in Nueva Ecija, which aims to make it easier for residents of Palayan City, Nueva Ecija and other nearby provinces in Central Luzon, to process their documents with less travel.
Among the services offered by POEA-Palayan City are the following:
- POEA Verification System
- OFW Verification System
- Agency Verification
- Principal Verification
- OFW Watchlist Verification
- Search for Available Job Orders
- Critical Skills Monitoring
DEFINITION OF TERMS
To help the applicants become familiar with some of the terms and meanings used in dealing with the POEA, here are some of the legal terms used by the agency.
- Administration – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
- Administrator – The Administrator of the POEA.
- Agency – A private employment or a manning agency as defined herein.
- Balik-Manggagawa (Vacationing Worker) – A land-based contract worker who is on a vacation or on an emergency leave and who is returning to the same worksite to resume his employment.
- Contract Worker – Any person working or who has worked overseas under a valid employment contact.
- Employer – Any person, partnership or corporation, whether local or foreign, directly engaging the services of Filipino workers overseas
- Job Fair – An activity conducted outside of an agency’s authorized business address whereby applicants are oriented on employment opportunities and benefits provided by foreign principals and employers.
- Government-to-Government Hiring – Recruitment and placement of Filipino workers by foreign government ministries or instrumentalities through the Administration.
- License – A document issued by the Secretary authorizing a person, partnership or corporation to operate a private employment agency or a manning agency.
- Manning Agency – Any person, partnership or corporation duly licensed by the Secretary to recruit seafarers for vessel plying international waters and for related maritime activities.
- Manning Agreement – An agreement entered into by and between the principal and the licensed manning agency defining the responsibilities of both parties with respect to the employment of ship personnel for their enrolled vessels.
- Name Hire – A worker who is able to secure employment overseas on his own without the assistance or participation of any agency.
- One-Stop Processing Center – An inter-agency servicing body designed to facilitate the documentation of contract workers.
- Overseas Employment – Employment of a worker outside the Philippines including employment on board vessels plying international waters, covered by a valid employment contract.
- Placement Fee – The amount charged by a private employment agency from a worker for its services in securing employment.
- Principal – Any foreign person, partnership or corporation hiring Filipino workers through an agency.
- Private Employment Agency – Any person, partnership or corporation engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers for a fee which is charged, directly or indirectly, from the workers or employees or both.
- Recruitment Agreement – The agreement entered into by and between the foreign principal and the licensed private employment agency defining the responsibilities of both parties with respect to the employment of workers for their overseas projects.
- Remittance – The amount or portion of the foreign exchange earnings sent by the worker to the Philippines.
- Service Fee – The amount charged by a licensee from its foreign employer-principal as payment for actual services rendered in relation to the recruitment and employment of workers for said principal.
- Valid Employment Contract – A written agreement entered into by and between the employer and/or the local agency and the overseas contract worker containing the terms and conditions of employment that are in consonance with the master employment contract as approved by the Administration.
ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIMS OF ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT
In addition to issuing documents required to be obtained by the prospective Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) residing in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija and adjacent provinces, the POEA at the Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH) can likewise assist victims of illegal recruitment.
According to the POEA website, illegal recruitment is defined under the law as any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Art 13 (F) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines: Provided, That any such non-licensee or non-holder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. (sec. 6, RA 8042).
The POEA website likewise explains that the following acts, whether committed by any persons, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority.
(a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than the specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance;
(b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment;
(c) To give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code;
(d) To induce or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment;
(e) To influence or attempt to influence any persons or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency;
(f) To engage in the recruitment of placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;
(g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative;
(h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment, placement vacancies, remittances of foreign exchange earnings, separations from jobs, departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment;
(i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker, employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment;
(j) For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly on indirectly in the management of a travel agency;
(k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations;
(l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment; and
(m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker’s fault. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage.
Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group.
The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having control, management or direction of their business shall be liable.